Virtual Graduation
Celebrate the Class of 2020

It's time to graduate for the Class of 2020! View our special section to see profiles of graduates, read news from around the area, and submit a profile of your own favorite graduate!

Following is a summary of key information related to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and impacts in Watauga County and surrounding areas. Visit for additional coverage on the virus and its impacts. For editorial tips and questions, email  Read more

Joyce Potter Godsey, 75, of Boone, N.C., passed away May 27, 2020.

Gradie Coffey, 78, of Boone, N.C., passed away May 27, 2020.

Dianne Ward Eggers, 71, of Sugar Grove, N.C., passed away Mond…

Mary Miller Hodges, 89, of Charlotte, N.C., passed away May 22, 2020.

Frank Slate, Sr., 90, of Boone, N.C., passed away May 22, 2020.

Over the first two months of the coronavirus crisis, our labor-market cratered. The number of employed North Carolinians dropped by 820,000, or 17%. Only 56.3% of working-aged residents were either employed or actively looking for jobs.

During the month of April alone, North Carolina lost 572,000 jobs, or 12.5% of the state’s total employment. That’s a higher rate of job loss than any of our neighbors experienced. Among the 12 Southeastern states, only Kentucky and West Virginia fared worse.